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Über dieses Buch

If you write emails and letters as part of your work, then this book is for you. By applying the suggested guidelines, you will stand a much greater chance of getting the desired reply to your emails in the shortest time possible.

Some of the key guidelines covered include:

Write meaningful subject lines - otherwise recipients may not even open your mail.Always put the most important point in the first line - otherwise the reader may not read it.Be concise and only mention what is truly relevant. Write the minimum amount possible - you will also make fewer mistakes!Be a little too formal than too informal - you don’t want to offend anyone.If you have two long important things to say, say them in separate emails.Give clear instructions and reasonable deadlines.If you need people to cooperate with you, it is essential to highlight the benefits for them of cooperating with you.Empathize with your recipient's busy workload.Never translate typical phrases literally - learn equivalent phrases.

The book concludes with a chapter of useful phrases. There is also a brief introduction for trainers on how to teach Business / Commercial English.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. EMAIL ADDRESSES

Abstract
If you email someone for the first time (i.e. a new contact), he/ she will open your email on the basis of:
1.
your email address
 
2.
how your name appears in their inbox
 
3.
your subject line
 
Adrian Wallwork

2. SUBJECT LINES

Abstract
A good subject line should be written from the recipient’s perspective
  • be pertinent to the recipient (not just to you)
  • encourage the recipient to open the mail itself
  • indicate to the recipient whether he/she needs to open it immediately or later
  • easily searchable / retrievable by the recipient
  • short
  • give a very clear indication of the actual message
Also, remember that the email you have written may then become part of a long chain, possibly with multiple recipients. If possible, choose a subject line that will not need to be changed (because it is not sufficiently pertinent) at some point later in the chain.
Adrian Wallwork

3. INITIAL SALUTATIONS

Abstract
It may be difficult to establish someone’s gender from their first name. In fact, what perhaps look like female names, may be male names, and vice versa. For example, the Italian names Andrea, Mattia and Nicola; the Russian names Ilya, Nikita, and Foma; and the Finnish names Esa, Pekka, Mika and Jukka are all male names. The Japanese names Eriko, Yasuko, Aiko, Sachiko, Michiko, Kanako may look like male names to Western eyes, but are in fact female. Likewise, Kenta, Kota, Yuta are all male names in Japanese.
Adrian Wallwork

4. INTRODUCTIONS AND FINAL SALUTATIONS

Abstract
When writing to a new contact you will probably want to inform the recipient how you got their email address. Examples:
  • I found your details on LinkedIn, we have a connection in common – Joe Amos.
  • I was given your CV by a colleague, Tao Pei Lin. As you may know, we are looking for a sales manager in our office in Beijing and I would like to discuss this position with you further.
  • Your name was given to me by …
Adrian Wallwork

5. MAKING REQUESTS

Abstract
If you have one particular important thing to ask, only ask that one thing.
If you have only one request in your email, the recipient will have fewer options – he or she will either ignore your email, or will reply with a response to your request. The fewer options you give your recipient, the more likely you will achieve what you want.
Adrian Wallwork

6. REPLYING TO REQUESTS

Abstract
Typical excuses for not replying promptly are:
  • Sorry but for some reason my system thought your email was spam.
  • Sorry I was convinced I had already replied.
  • Sorry but I have been out of the office all week.
If you don’t feel it is necessary to have any excuse you can say:
  • I apologize for not getting back to you sooner.
Avoid giving an excuse that is likely to irritate the recipient or make you seem inefficient, such as the following:
  • I apologize greatly for the delay. I have had a week away skiing and did not put my out of office reply on. I did ask my colleagues to keep an eye on all incoming emails so I am sorry nobody got back to you.
When you are late in replying, you can apologize both at the beginning and the end of the email:
  • Please accept my apologies, I was convinced that I had replied to you. Your best bet to get info on this is to ask Yuki directly – he is in the London office. Thanks and once again sorry for not getting back to you straight away.
  • If possible, state what you are doing to resolve the situation that the sender has informed you about.
  • My sincere apologies … I am still in the process of trying to find the information for you.
  • I am genuinely very sorry about the delay on this Robert, I will get the documents to you as soon as I possibly can.
Adrian Wallwork

7. CHASING AND BEING CHASED

Abstract
Ensure that you send reminders in a friendly tone with no sense of frustration or anger. Here are some examples:
  • I was wondering if you had had time to look at my email dated 10 February (see below).
  • Sorry to bother you again, but I urgently need you to answer these questions.
Adrian Wallwork

8. REVIEWING DOCUMENTS

Abstract
When you ask someone to review a report, manual or other written document:
  • ensure you ask them politely
  • be 100 % explicit exactly what you expect the person to do and tell them what to focus on
Adrian Wallwork

9. ENSURING BETTER COMMUNICATION BY USING A SOFT APPROACH

Abstract
When you write in English, you may be less worried about how your email might be interpreted than you would if you were writing to a colleague of your own nationality. For many non-native speakers writing in English is like writing through a filter: the way you write seems to have much less importance than it would if you were writing in your own language.
Adrian Wallwork

10. RECOGNIZING LEVEL OF FORMALITY

Abstract
Most people try to match the level of formality of the email that they have received. But this entails knowing how to recognize just how formal an email is. There are various clues.
Adrian Wallwork

11. PUNCTUATION AND CAPITALIZATION

Abstract
You don’t need to put any punctuation after your initial salutation or in your final salutation.
Adrian Wallwork

12. SENDING ATTACHMENTS

Abstract
Some people do not appreciate receiving attachments from people with whom they have had no previous contact. You can avoid sending attachments by giving the recipient a link where, if they wish, they can download your document.
Adrian Wallwork

13. BUSINESS LETTERS

Abstract
A business letter is only marginally different from a formal email. The main differences are that it:
  • looks more official (given the letterhead)
  • is designed to be printed
  • has a different layout which tends to include more information (e.g. address, date)
  • tends to be written in a formal style (see Chapter 10)
  • generally contains a real handwritten signature
Adrian Wallwork

14. PLANNING AND STRUCTURING AN EMAIL OR LETTER, AVOIDING MISTAKES IN YOUR ENGLISH

Abstract
Think about the following.
  • What is the goal of my email / letter?
  • Who is my recipient?
  • What is their position in the company hierarchy? How formal do I need to be?
  • How busy will my recipient be? How can I get his / her attention?
  • What does my recipient already know about the topic of my email?
  • What is the minimum amount of information that my recipient needs in order to give me the response I want?
  • Why should my recipient do what I want him / her to do?
  • What is my recipient’s response likely to be?
Adrian Wallwork

15. ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS AND SMILEYS

Abstract
This chapter is simply designed to be fun. It outlines many of the typical abbreviations used when writing very informal emails and text messages, and when chatting.
Note that such abbreviations, acronyms and phrases should NOT be used in a professional context.
Adrian Wallwork

16. USEFUL PHRASES: GENERIC

Abstract
Every language has certain phrases that cannot be translated literally into another language. A high percentage of the content of emails is made up of such standard phrases. You need to be very aware of what these standard phrases are, and what their equivalents are in English.
Adrian Wallwork

17. USEFUL PHRASES: COMMERCIAL

Abstract
Asking about products and services
We are interested in …
We are considering buying.
We understand from … that you produce …
We urgently need …
Do you offer a …?
Could you also let us know if you are prepared to.
Will you please let us know your prices for.
We would like to know whether you could supply …
Could you kindly give us a quotation for.
Please send us your price list for.
Could you send us further details of …
I would be grateful to receive samples of …
Please could you email us your catalogue along with further details of …
Adrian Wallwork

Backmatter

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